Conversation with Bangladeshi labor leader Nazma Akter

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 06:00 PM to at 07:30 PM

You are cordially invited to attend a special event
at the Worker Institute at Cornell:

One Year Later: Bangladesh’s Resurgent Labor Movement After Rana Plaza
A Conversation with Bangladeshi Labor Leader Nazma Akter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 6:00 pm - 7:30pm
ILR NYC Conference Center
16 E. 34th Street, 6th Floor, NYC
Please RSVP to Christine Long at

Last year, an eight-story garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, killing more than 1,100 workers and leaving over 2,500 injured and maimed. The Rana Plaza disaster was by far the deadliest garment factory accident in history, killing nearly 10 times as many workers as 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The collapse has triggered massive protests in Bangladesh and an international campaign calling for major retailers to provide compensation for the survivors of the disaster and sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire & Building Safety, an agreement that stipulates basic safety standards for suppliers in Bangladesh’s multi-billion dollar garment industry.

Over a year after Rana Plaza, Bangladesh’s labor movement remains at a turning point. On Wednesday, August 6th, Nazma Akter, President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation (SGSF), and former child laborer in the garment industry, will lay out the landscape of Bangladesh’s resurgent labor movement and address the impact of transnational campaigns, such as the Bangladesh Accord, upon the lives of garment workers. In addition to leading the 70,000-member SGSF, Akter is also Executive Director of the Awaj Foundation, an organization that trains thousands of garment workers across Bangladesh on labor laws, negotiating skills, and occupational safety and health.

AFL-CIO’s Global Workers’ Rights coordinator Brian Finnegan will also be addressing how the International Department is fostering global supply chain accountability and solidarity, including an upcoming action targeting retailer Ralph Lauren. On August 7th, both Akter and Finnegan will be addressing the Ralph Lauren Shareholder’s Meeting in NYC and calling on the retailer to sign on in support of the Bangladesh Accord.

The discussion will be moderated by Maria Figueroa, Co-Chair of the Precarious Workers Research Network at the Worker Institute at Cornell.


ILR NYC Conference Center
16 E. 34th Street
16th Floor
New York, NY